Thursday, August 30, 2007

Into the Shadow

In the process of contructing a timelapse movie of the eclipse I generated this composite view of last Tuesday morning's lunar eclipse. The size, shape and "color" of the Earth's shadow at the distance of the moon is revealed.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Blood Moon

Early this morning there was a total lunar eclipse. I observed the event from my backyard using a couple of digital cameras attached to a Canon EF 400mm lens and a Questar 3.5" telescope. The two cameras were mounted on my Takahashi EM200 in anticipation of the long exposures necessary to capture the event. Below are a sample of some of the images I was able to get. From a visual standpoint the eclipse seemed darker than most I've observed in the past. (L= 3.8?).

The larger scale images were obtained through the Questar. Exposures with this instrument ranged from 10 seconds to 23 seconds working at ISO 800 and F/16. Wider field images were shot through the EF 400 F/2.8L IS lens at F/4.0 ISO 800 with expsoures from 4 to 15 seconds.

A 23 second exposure at mid eclipse.

A 15 second exposure showing the sparse star field of the event.

A 4 second exposure showing the turquiose blue tinge of the shadow - possibly due to ozone in Earth's upper atmosphere.

Remember this old trick? A Looong exposure of a total lunar eclipse through a wide angle lens? Well - this is what you get when you try it with a digital SLR, no noise reduction and high ambient temperatures. An ill-fated attempt at capturing the full eclipse from beginning to end in a single 3 hour long exposure. Even with the camera set to ISO 100 - the noise was just shocking. The ambient temperature was 86 degrees Fahrenheit. A task best left to film for sure! ;-> Canon EOS 5D | 16-35mm F/2.8 L lens @ 24mm and F/18 | ISO 100 | exposure @ 10600 seconds!

Friday, August 24, 2007

This is your telescope. This is your telescope on steroids . . .

Before we left Mt. Graham for the lower deserts, we took a quick tour of the LBT (Large Binocular Telescope) up the road from the VATT. This is what happens when you let Tim "the tool man" Taylor design a telescope. This thing is HUGE. Two 8.4 meter mirrors craddled in 100 metric tons of steel and aluminium, all moving with the precision of a fine watch. Pictures don't do it justice - but here are a few anyway.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mirror, Mirror

Well - here it is - a photo-review of the VATT 1.8 meter mirror installation that was done this week. Thanks to all involved - Ned Franz, Chris Johnson, Ken Duffek, Bob Peterson, Joe James, Chris Tardif, Chris Corbally, et. al. Nicely Done!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Up at Mt. Graham Intermnational Observatory this week working on the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT) with the Steward Gang. Working at 10,500 ft. is always a pleasure - hypoxia, flatulance, headaches - great stuff! Here are a few images of Ned and Chris preparing the cell for the re-aluminized mirror installation.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Seeing Red

A few images of Kitt Peak taken with a Sony 707 and a Wratten 87 IR pass filter.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Electric Eve

A couple of shots from Kitt Peak tonight.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Yet another Sunset

Everybody and his dog shoots sunsets. I try not to anymore since sunsets are so pedestrian. On the occasion of "nothing better to do" . . . here is one from Kitt Peak last night.